“The Goals and Criteria are the sine qua non for every school that belongs to the Sacred Heart network.” Preamble to the 1975 Goals and Criteriafor the Sacred Heart Schools in the United States
In the late 1960’s in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council, Sacred Heart schools faced a number of serious challenges: a declining number of religious available for work in the schools, a smaller number of Sacred Heart schools open and operating and the development of independent Boards of Trustees in the remaining institutions. Lay and religious Sacred Heart educators began to meet to find a way to safeguard the legacy and vision of Sacred Heart education in the United States. Eventually five goals were articulated that help define what a Sacred Heart institution true to the inspiration of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat strives to do, and specific criteria were drawn up by which to judge whether an institution is indeed pursuing each of the five goals and thereby merits membership in the Network of Sacred Heart Schools. The Goals and Criteria published in 1975 were adapted and refined in 1990 to reflect more accurately the challenges facing the schools as they near the end of the century.
During the 2004-2005 academic year, the constituencies of the Network Schools and Religious of the Sacred Heart engaged in a spirited consultation. The 2005 Goals and Criteria document is the fruit of that consultation. The “foundational principles” contained in this document are essential elements for being a Sacred Heart school.